After the Tears
Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014
” …(T)he best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations. The higher my expectations …the lower is my serenity. I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations. But then my ‘rights’ try to move in, and they, too, can force my serenity level down. I have to discard my ‘rights,’ as well as my expectations, by asking myself, ‘How important is it, really? How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety?’ And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level – at least for the time being.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Stopped in Time,” Ch 17 (“Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict”), p 452.
Today, I will treat sobriety with respect as a gift instead of a “right” that is the product of the Program. Sobriety is no more a right than being able to drink responsibly or irresponsibly; the former is a privilege I lost by abusing the latter. And in perceiving sobriety as a gift, may other of my expectations of recovery be realistically framed: that I not expect the right not to encounter the day-to-day challenges or problems that non-alcoholics have, that I not feel entitled to a “free ride” without bumps, turmoils, even tragedies. Sobriety must be respected as a gift and not a right, a gift that requires development, nurturing and the constant reminder that it can be taken away – if I neglect nurturing it with the Program’s 12 Steps and Traditions. Today, sobriety is a gift, sometimes fragile; I will handle it with care and respect. And our common journey continues. After the tears. – Chris M., 2014